Increased forgetfulness and difficulty remembering names or other details is common as we age. In most cases, it’s completely normal and nothing to worry about (read our blog on how to tell the difference between normal forgetfulness and dementia symptoms). In these cases, is there anything you can do to try and combat your aging memory or even reverse the effects for an improved memory? Read on for some tips and tricks for a better memory.
Your brain is incredibly adaptable and capable of learning new things. Neuroscientists refer to neuroplasticity, which describes the brain’s ability to form new connections and pathways between neurons, even as we age. When we learn something new or challenge our brains in another way, these pathways are formed and strengthened.
So, we can utilize the neuroplasticity of our brains to improve our memory and brainpower, and even slow down the degradation of our cognitive abilities as we age. Think of your brain as a muscle that gets stronger the more you use it. So, training your brain with cognitive exercises can help it become stronger and improve your ability to learn and retain information.
Exercises for your brain
What kind of “exercises” can help form and strengthen these pathways? Learning something new is one good example. Simply reading about a new subject or reading more in-depth into a subject you already know about can be helpful. You can also try learning a new language or a new skill, such as playing an instrument.
Puzzles are another way to stimulate your brain. There are a variety of types of puzzles to suit your interests and abilities, from crosswords and word searches to sudoku and jigsaw puzzles. Quizzes are also a great way to challenge your brain, learn new facts, and have fun! Try watching a quiz show, such as Jeopardy, play quiz board games with friends, or taking quizzes online.
Lifestyle factors that can improve your memory
You also need to look after your brain with your daily habits and lifestyle. Here are a few factors that can boost your brain health and your cognitive abilities:
- Get enough sleep
- Quit smoking
- Cut down on alcohol
- Socialize regularly
- Watch what you eat
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with dementia or any other condition affecting your memory and cognition, then contact Brookstone of Clemmons to find out more about our care services and assisted living community in Clemmons, NC.